Our Middle School has been busy these last two weeks, spreading the word about two important issues: diabetes and bullying. Last week, SMUS was the only school in Victoria to mark World Diabetes Day and this Friday, our students showed their support for victims of bullying.
Grade 6 student Nicholas Loughton wanted people, including his fellow students, to know more about diabetes, so he suggested that the school get involved in World Diabsetes Day. “I wanted everyone to know what diabetes was,” he explains. Nicholas, who is diabetic, says that some people still have misconceptions about the disease, including that sufferers can’t consume any sugar and that it’s somehow contagious. November 14th was chosen because it’s the birthday of Canadian Sir Frederick G. Banting who co-discovered insulin, a treatment for diabetes, which now affects 246 million people.
After Nicholas spoke to his schoolmates in assembly, the Grade 6 students were handed blue hula hoops, since the symbol for WDD is a blue circle. The students competed to see who could hula hoop for the longest time and who showed the most creativity. The students had a ton of fun working on their hula-hoop skills and the demonstration attracted the attention of local news crews, which will help spread awareness even further.
This Friday, Middle School staff and students wore pink for International Stand Up to Bullying Day. More than 25 different countries participated in the campaign, which began in February of 2008.
All of the Middle School students spent time discussing how to address the problem of bullying in their classes and the Grade 8 students used their art class to produce anti-bullying posters, which they displayed around the school. Grade 8 students Colton Stockus, Keiler Totz, Stephen Whillans, Ashley Hoydal-Payne, and Ryan Lider spoke in assembly about the significance of the day and the importance of taking a visible stand against the mistreatment of others.
The day’s chosen colour comes from the story of Nova Scotia students Travis Price and David Shepherd, who saw a fellow student being bullied for wearing pink and took action by wearing pink and organizing a school-wide campaign to get most of the students to don the distinctive colour. Our Middle School students did an excellent job of following their example, with almost all adding some pink to their uniforms.
Leanne Farmer, Ella Hayashi and Erynn Pawluck organized pink prizes for the best anti-bullying posters created by the students. Other Grade 8 students lent their voices to the announcements, to encourage students to wear pink during the week and in Friday’s assembly, Lindon Carter and Keenan Manhas performed a musical piece to celebrate the tremendous success of the day.